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     Volume 6 Issue 12| March 30, 2007 |

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   View from the    Bottom
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   Dhaka Diary
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Commodifying Women
First of all I would like to thank SWM for its excellent cover story "Women in a Make-believe World" (March 9, 2007). I think it is a praiseworthy endeavour to ennoble our view towards women.
Nowadays we are used to seeing women participating in every sphere of our society. They have proved their worth very successfully. But it is a matter of great regret that women are still not valued properly. It is really disgraceful that women's sexuality and physical attributes are used as baits in most of their portrayals in advertisements. It has become a fashion to try and follow these models. So the media is only teaching them to try and be more attractive and beautiful, with no focus on using the brain. The media should stop representing women as commodities. It is high time women stood against all stereotyped ideas and proved their own capability.
Khulna Govt. Girls' College

DCC and Wonderland
Isn't it about time that the DCC freed this park marked as a "public" park on the Dhaka master plan from the current occupier of the Wonderland? It would be nice to see those walls torn down and an open green area in the middle of Gulshan as a result. The DCC should explain on what grounds and for what reasons the current occupier has been allowed to stay for so long in a public place.

Fate is the Hunter
At midnight on March 8, 2007, a helmeted, bullet-proof jacket-clad Tarique Rahman, the so-called former crown prince of Bangladesh, was escorted into a van belonging to the Rapid Action Battalion, the elite law enforcing agency created by none other than his mother, the former Prime Minister of our country. The scene reminded us of Shaikh Abdur Rahman and Siddiqul Islam in similar situations but on different occasions. Since the beginning of the two different episodes appeared to be the same, will Tarique face the same fate?
I certainly hope not. I think the people of the country would be more interested in seeing the looted money back in to the national coffer. I don't think anyone would relish just seeing a filthy rich Tarique serving time in jail. The country can hugely benefit if all his looted money is used for a good purpose.
Shaheen Wali
By email

Welcome Back, Rokon-Ud-Dullah
Things had started getting back to square one after the feverish anti-food adulteration drive last year. Dishonest traders took advantage of the countrywide political mess and started poisoning our foods again.
The revival of the drive undertaken by the caretaker government has changed the scenario once again. Magistrate Rokon-Ud-Dullah who was temporarily sidelined for a few months has been brought in for the second time to identify contaminations and upgrade the quality of food. And he is doing his job quite well. Several restaurants and groceries are being fined for selling unhygienic or adulterated food.
I am shocked at the sweetmeat shops and restaurants that are being charged for the same crimes for the second time. They are putting the general public in grave danger of acquiring food and water-borne diseases. This is an inhuman practice. And they are doing these things for personal profit with complete disregard for people's welfare. I want to thank the CG and Rokon-Ud-Dowla for their exemplary efforts.
Zihad Azad
Govt. Laboratory High School

Welcoming the Drive against Corruption
The recent drive against corruption is an outstanding breakthrough for our country. We desperately needed an initiative of this kind. I hope the government does not arrest them just to make a good impression on the people. The common people have to work very hard to make a living. These dirty corrupted politicians and their collaborators on the other hand were just looting our hard-earned money.
We want exemplary punishment for the culprits. This government should do everything in their power to eliminate the root of corruption. The people demand change and I think this government is already on the right path. As a proud nation, we should practise honesty in every sphere of our lives.
Mohammad Anisur Rahman
Pahartali, Chittagong

Well Done Bangladesh!
We are really pleased will how our cricket team has performed so far in the World Cup. The boys have beaten one of the two giants in group B very convincingly. They also beat a comparatively weak Bermudan side very well despite the interference from the rain at frequent intervals. Now we have put the cherry on the cake by qualifying for the super 8s.
Interestingly this memorable triumph came on our independence day. Our boys have done what they went for. We have nothing to lose now. If the talented cricketers can just play without pressure we might even have more successes in the next round. I want to thank the Bangladeshi team for reaching a milestone in the cricketing history of our country.
Tanvir Ahmed
By email

Growing Addiction in Dhaka
Lethal drugs are now so easily available in the city that even children as young as 13 are getting hooked on them. Drug peddlers are active in every neighbourhood of the city. In affluent areas like, Gulshan, Banani, and Dhanmondi, school children are discreetly provided with cell phone numbers to which they can call to order their drug of choice for home delivery.
While the city's drug rehabilitation centres are doing brisk business treating thousands of addicted children, these organised gangs target youngsters from the affluent section of the society. The peddlers mingle with students in private universities, English medium schools and at popular hangouts to get 'clients'.
Although there are no official statistics available, several NGOs estimate that there might be around three lakh drug addicts in the city. Families of addicts are the ones who suffer the most. I would like to request parents to be aware of this situation and help their children stay away from drugs.
Sharmin Rashid
Uttara, Dhaka

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